William Etty, Classical Composition: Bacchanal, oil on panel. (c) Iziko Museums of South Africa.


The Celebrated Captain Mitton on horseback from the Iziko Michealis Collection. 


The Reign by Mary Sibande. Iziko South African National Gallery.


African statue from the Iziko African Art collection. Iziko South African National Gallery.


The Kraal (1948) by Alexis Preller 1911 - 1975. Oil on canvas on cardboard. Iziko South African National Gallery.


Concert of birds from the Iziko Michealis Collection. Iziko South African National Gallery. 

Art collections

When people discuss art, the question, "What is art?" often comes up. Art is a controversial issue as it means different things to different people. Art makes use of different techniques, mediums, forms, qualities, styles, materials and genres to convey ideas, feelings, emotions and messages to the world. Art has long been used as a means through which people can express and explore their thoughts, ideas and feelings about the past, the world they live in and hopes about the future.

The Iziko permanent art collection is made up of many different kinds of art works ranging from prints, paintings, drawings, pottery, textiles, beadwork, carvings, and sculptures among other art forms including photography and new media.

The following collections can be found within the Iziko permanent art collection:

Found within this vast collection is many examples of South African, African and European art that goes as far back as the 13th century. The collection spans different artistic disciplines and ranges from African Art, Modern Painting and Sculpture, Historical Painting and Sculpture Collections, Contemporary Collections, Prints and Drawings, and Photography and New Media.

Iziko is committed to establishing an art collection that acknowledges and celebrates the African continent's expressive, vibrant culture, particularly within Southern Africa. We acknowledge the importance of African art in our art collections. Since the 1990s, we have been and continue to be committed to establishing a strong African presence within our art exhibitions that resonate with a wide audience, particularly here at home in South Africa.

The collection (known as the Iziko Permanent Art Collection) contains the work of many leading European artists, amongst others. European artists who formed part of the New England Club, the Bloomsbury Group, John Walker, Michael Porter, Gary Wraag, Alan Davie, and Ronald Kitaj etc are included in the Permanent Collection. Iziko is also the custodian of the Iziko Michealis Collection and the Abe Bailey bequest.

The collection impacts on the way people think about and reflect on everyday life, and who they are, their past, their present and where they are headed in the future. The collection is therefor a roadmap for people searching for answers and a source of knowledge.   


Andrea Lewis:
Email: alewis@iziko.org.za

Hayden Proud:
Email: hproud@iziko.org.za